FPJ Exclusive: Thane Excise Wing Stares At Piling 'Scrapyard' Of 500 Seized Vehicles Awaiting Auction Since 2004

FPJ Exclusive: Thane Excise Wing Stares At Piling 'Scrapyard' Of 500 Seized Vehicles Awaiting Auction Since 2004

According to official statistics sourced from the excise department, 409 vehicles, including cars, tempos, and two-wheelers, have been impounded in 397 prohibition-related offences registered by the divisional flying squad across the district between 2004 and 2021.

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 06:21 PM IST
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Hundreds of vehicles impounded by the district excise department in Thane have transformed into a mountain of scrap, gobbling up the entire open space in the premises of the Kalyan unit. According to official statistics sourced from the excise department, 409 vehicles, including cars, tempos, and two-wheelers, have been impounded in 397 prohibition-related offences registered by the divisional flying squad across the district between 2004 and 2021. These vehicles have piled up and are waiting for disposal or auction for nearly two decades.

Additionally, 110 vehicles have been impounded by various excise units in Mira Road, Bhayandar, Ambernath, Dombivali, Ulhasnagar, and Navi Mumbai. While the existing total hovers above 500, the numbers have increased in the past three years as impounded vehicles jostle for space in the already cramped area. The offences in which the vehicles were impounded include bootlegging, manufacturing of illicit booze (haath-bhatti), smuggling, ferrying liquor in an illegal manner, and other breach cases related to the unauthorized sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and country liquor by licensed vending establishments.

"The pile-up of vehicles has become a major cause of concern. However, we are coordinating with our higher-ups to chalk out a solution for their collective disposal as soon as possible," said excise superintendent Nilesh Sangade. Permission for auction has been granted in a negligible number of cases. However, searching those vehicles from the heaps has become a herculean task, leaving the department with no other option but to procure judicial orders for collective disposal or auctioneering.

While the registration numbers of several vehicles are beyond recognition, the condition of many has deteriorated to such an extent that they can only be sold to scrap dealers. In a few cases, vehicles have been handed over to the owners after judicial orders. Apart from hogging space and being a visual eyesore, the vehicles have turned into potential breeding spots for mosquitoes, posing a threat of causing vector-borne diseases.

The process of auctioning envisages a judicial nod, followed by an inspection-cum-valuation, and finally, the bidding process mandated to be conducted under the aegis of empaneled public sector units which specialize in e-auctions.

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